De Sousa hit with lengthy whip ban

Champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa has been handed an 18-day suspension by the British Horseracing Authority over his use of the whip, six of which have been deferred.

De Sousa was found guilty of using his whip without giving Swiss Cross time to respond at Lingfield on June 16, with the offence warranting a suspension of between two and six days.

Taking into account it was the rider’s fifth such suspension within the previous six months, the Lingfield stewards referred the matter to the BHA and he has will be banned for 12 days (July 1-13 inclusive when Flat racing takes place) under the ruling body’s totting-up procedures.

Six days were deferred for 42 days and would be triggered by any further disciplinary breach during that period

De Sousa’s agent Shelley Dwyer said; “It’s a totting-up procedure, so there are no grounds for appeal and we move on.

“Worse things happen and it’s not the end of the world.

“We’ll get it out of the way and then get our heads down again and go for it.

“He (De Sousa) will come back battling.”

Coral reacted to the news by easing De Sousa to 4-7 (from 4-11) to successfully defend his title.

Ryan Moore was trimmed to 7-4 from 3-1, ahead of Andrea Atzeni at 7-1.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “Although Silvestre de Sousa remains odds-on for a title repeat, clearly a 12-day ban at this busy time of the year is not going to help his defence, with Ryan Moore his closest rival in the betting.”

De Sousa will miss the Coral-Eclipse fixture at Sandown and the July meeting at Newmarket.

Meanwhile Hayley Turner will return to the saddle in a one-off appearance to ride in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot.

Britain’s most successful female rider retired at the end of last season but hot on the heels of being awarded an OBE earlier this month, Turner has answered the call to make a short-lived comeback for the girls team at the annual riders’ competition.

Top Australian jockey Michelle Payne had been due to compete in the August 6 event but she is currently sidelined for an indefinite period after suffering abdominal injuries in a fall. Her injury left a space in the team alongside Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson and Cathy Gannon, who is also out of action at present having broken all five toes in her foot. Turner will now fill that void and she is hoping the girls team can complete back-to-back victories having landed the competition for a first time in 2015.

She said: “The Shergar Cup has always been my favourite day of the racing calendar and I wouldn’t have considered coming out of retirement for any other event.

“It’s a real shame that Michelle Payne is unable to join the team and I wish her a speedy recovery. I’m looking forward to the challenge and hope myself, Emma-Jayne and Cathy Gannon can recreate the magic of our team’s victory from last year.”

Nick Smith, director of racing and communications at Ascot, believes racing fans are lucky to see Turner back in the plate.

“British racegoers were going to see a new female legend in Michelle Payne and we are very fortunate that such is Hayley’s passion for the event, they are instead going to get a rare, and possibly last chance to see her ride competitively under formal rules again,” he told www.ascot.co.uk.

“It’s incredibly bad luck on Michelle that she suffered such a serious injury. We were very much looking forward to welcoming her to the UK - something that had been planned from the day after her Melbourne Cup victory.”


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